LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - At the first big red carpet event of the award season, stars donned bold colours and sophisticated designs in the sweltering heat at television's Emmy Awards on Sunday.
Bright yellow was a popular choice on the red carpet among the younger starlets and veteran actresses, including Julianne Moore (in full-length Christian Dior haute couture), "Homeland" star Claire Danes (in strapless, draped Lanvin), Leslie Mann (in yellow and white Naeem Khan), "Modern Family" Emmy winner Julie Bowen (in Monique Lhuillier), "New Girl" actress Hannah Simone (in asymmetric Pucci) and "Big Bang Theory's" Kaley Cuoco (in a strapless peplum Angel Sanchez).
"It would definitely get an award for bringing the dead back to life in its color," Bowen said of her dress backstage after winning the Emmy for best supporting actress in a comedy. "It was bold for me, but it's a classic shape."
Hal Rubenstein, fashion director at InStyle magazine, praised the bold colour choices and selected Julianne Moore's full-length yellow Dior couture gown as his favorite.
"On one hand, it recalls the best of Dior, and yet it was mixed through with all the modernity that (designer) Raf Simons brought to the house of Jil Sander and now will bring to the house of Dior," Rubenstein said.
Despite an unseasonably hot September day with temperatures hovering near 90 degrees, actresses managed to look cool in blue, white and grey gowns.
"New Girl" star and nominee Zooey Deschanel wore a pastel blue Reem Acra dress with a full tulle skirt, keeping her hair and makeup simple. Heidi Klum turned out in a turquoise Alexandre Vauthier gown and starlet Hayden Panettiere was attired in a teal and gold asymmetric Marchesa dress.
Pale gray was a hot color for fall, seen on "Revenge" star Emily VanCamp in J Mendel, "Homeland" actress Morena Baccarin in Basil Soda and "Veep" star Anna Chlumsky in Christian Siriano.
Siriano also dressed "Mad Men" bombshell Christina Hendricks in a pale grey-white strapless gown, echoed by 12-year-old "Mad Men" starlet Kiernan Shipka in a pale grey strapless Zac Posen. Lucy Liu shimmered in a fit ted, metallic Versace strapless dress.
"The dresses were more influenced by the weather than the trends from the runway for fall. The clothes were actually very bright and sophisticated, there were a lot of ethereal colours and bright colours ... the colours were big, bright and happy," Rubenstein said. "I thought people looked good."
Fashion stylist and expert Sam Saboura was less impressed, saying he was "underwhelmed."
"I thought it was a little subdued. I wasn't blown away by anyone in particular, but key trends tonight were a lot of strapless and A-line dresses," Saboura told Reuters. "Last year we saw a lot of flared gowns hugging the body with mermaid tails, but the A-line was a little softer, a little more relaxed."
Deep red jewel tones also proved popular, with comedian Tina Fey leading a host of stars in a strapless Vivienne Westwood, echoed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Vera Wang, Jena Malone in burgundy J Mendel and "Big Bang Theory" nominee Mayim Bialik in a modest but glamorous Pamella Roland number.
Actress Nicole Kidman in an Antonio Berardi column sheath with blue sequined embellishments had fashionistas and fans split. Saboura said he felt the dress "did not do her justice," while Rubenstein said it was "clean and modern."
Floral prints added interest to the red carpet. Julianna Margulies wore a strapless floral baroque-style Giambattista Valli gown and Ginnifer Goodwin donned a white and red embellished Monique Lhuillier, a choice that Saboura called "interesting."
"There was a lot of sparkle and shine," Saboura said. "I thought it'd be more garish than glamorous, and I thought it was actually understated glamour tonight."
Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Stacey Joyce